Ogbonna To Compete At Junior Nationals
ALBANY, N.Y. – Though the 2013-14 campaign is over, the University at Albany track and field program still has two athletes competing in events beyond the end of the collegiate season. Junior Alexander Bowen has already competed for Panama’s National Team in the Central American Championships, and will continue to compete for Panama in three additional meets through November. Joining Bowen is fellow high jumper Kinglsey Ogbonna, who will compete in the USATF Junior National Championships at Eugene, Oregon this weekend.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Ogbonna said. “The hype with USATF and Hayward Field, it’s exciting and I’m looking to have some fun and do my best.”
Ogbonna, a freshman from Cortlandt Manor, New York, hit the qualifying standard for the high jump at indoor IC4A Championships, where he cleared a height of 6’-10.25”, finishing in a tie for eighth place overall. The IC4A mark held as Ogbonna’s best through the outdoor season, and has him ranked sixth of eight in the high jump field for Junior Nationals.
“We’re looking to hopefully set a personal record,” said assistant coach Todd Wolin, who works with the high jumpers. “And possibly a berth into Junior Worlds. The world junior mark, 2.16 meters is up there, but who knows.”
Ogbonna has already left his mark on the UAlbany track program as one of the best high jumpers in school history. His indoor mark places him in a tie for fifth on the all-time list, and his outdoor best of 6’-8.75” is tied for ninth all-time with fellow freshman teammate Matthew Campbell.
“I appreciate the opportunity I have to compete at this meet,” Ogbonna said. “Our group of high jumpers, at the beginning of the season, had the goal to make it to this point. And now I’m the only one left, so I want to represent myself, and represent my teammates who couldn’t be here, as well as I can.”
“I’m very proud of him,” Wolin said. “I hope he has fun. When Kinglsey has fun, Kingsley jumps well.”
The 2014 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships will serve as a qualifier for the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships. Top performers will be part of the American team that will have the unique opportunity to return to Eugene from July 22-27. The 2014 edition of the IAAF World Junior Championships marks the first time the event has ever been held in the United States.
The men’s high jump is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, July 6.